Even Jonathan Swift, who said promises and pie crusts are made to be broken, might have marveled at the limited shelf life of Barack Obama's promise of a "balanced" deficit-reduction plan — substantial spending cuts to accompany revenue increases.RTWT.
Obama made short shrift of that promise when he demanded $1.6 trillion in immediate tax increases and mostly unspecified domestic cuts.
He also promised to cut $800 billion from 10 years of war spending that will end in two years, which is like "cutting" $800 billion by deciding not to build a ski resort on Mars.
Year after year, the Democratic-controlled Senate, ignoring the law, refuses to pass budgets.
Year after year, Washington makes big government cheap by charging Americans only $6 for every $10 of government services, borrowing the difference. And the biggest purchaser of U.S. government debt is not China but ... the U.S. government, largely through the Federal Reserve.
Yet what supposedly is horrifying is a sequester that would cut less than 3% of federal spending over the next decade? Or horrible Grover Norquist.
Although a surfeit of numbers are being bandied, a pertinent one is missing — the number of legislators who have pledged to Norquist not to raise taxes. The number is: Zero.
All pledges have been to voters. Progressives lament the public's distrust of the political class, while urging many members of it to treat their promises as pie crusts.
Given progressives' "principled" refusal to countenance entitlement reforms, the principal drivers of the fiscal imbalance will not be untouched even by raising, from 65, the age of Medicare eligibility.